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March 29, 2019

Contact: Casey Olesko 973-775-2781 / [email protected]

$8.3 Million in Federal Family Planning Funding for NJ Still Tainted by Trump-Pence Gag Rule

TRENTON, NJ – Yesterday, funding for New Jersey’s network of reproductive health care providers was announced for the next grant period of Title X, the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and other family planning services. This grant period begins on April 1. However, the Trump-Pence administration has placed onerous new restrictions on this funding – the Title X gag rule. This gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for an abortion, and it includes language specifically designed to block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood, threatening their health, their rights, and their lives. Several of these restrictions are set to go into effect on May 3. Because of Planned Parenthood’s commitment to ethical patient care, it would be impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue participating in the program if these rules are put into effect.

“All patients, regardless of income, should have access to the best medical care and information possible,” said Triste Brooks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey. “This gag rule would keep patients from having information about all of their options. We won’t withhold critical information from our patients.”

The Title X gag rule would dismantle the nation’s birth control and reproductive health program. Title X is meant to ensure that people struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care. In New Jersey, more than 70 percent of the patients served by Title X received care at a Planned Parenthood health center. Planned Parenthood was the sole Title X provider in 13 New Jersey counties in 2018. Without Planned Parenthood, all other Title X-funded sites in New Jersey would have to increase their contraceptive client caseloads by 254 percent to serve the women who currently obtain birth control from Planned Parenthood health centers.

This rule is opposed by the general public, the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. When the rule was announced, nearly 500,000 Americans submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services voicing their opposition. Major medical associations like the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and others stand against this rule. In addition, more than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

In fact, earlier this month, Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association sued President Trump to stop his dangerous gag rule, which threatens the health care of 4 million people in Title X, our nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. A second lawsuit was also filed to challenge the rule by 21 state Attorneys General, including New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.